Learning by stories

The story…

My name is Shikhali Mirzai
The story of Shikhali Mirzai is representative of all those persons who fled from Afghanistan, and who through a thousand adventures have managed to reach European Countries. The strength and positivity of Shikhali, despite a thousand adversities, is extraordinary.
We need more human and just European migration policies!

On 21 April 130 migrants lost their lives in a shipwreck in the Sicilian channel. Three boats, in danger due to the rough seas, asked for help for two days, without receiving help from the Italian, Maltese or Libyan authorities. The Ocean Viking ship of Sos Mediterranee, and three merchant ships, tried to rescue the shipwrecked, but managed to get there in time. The photo shows the crew of the Sea Watch 4 observing a minute of silence; the ship of another NGO committed to rescuing migrants at sea.

From October 2013 to January 2021, according to UNHCR sources, the United Nations refugee agency, 20,376 people have died in the Mediterranean.

This yet another tragedy, and these data, should lead us to reflect on the absolute need to radically change European migration policies.
Europe has spent and spends enormous sums for Frontex, the European border control agency, giving life to actions that do not respect human rights, as we saw days ago. We are talking about 1.1 billion euros in 2021 (source “Altr economy”). Let’s imagine if these funds could be used for other actions such as:
– humanitarian corridors;
– Regulation of regular migratory flows, linked to the requests for manpower.
– Development and training programs in the countries of origin of migrants.

How can we ensure that European institutions create more just and humane migration policies, consistent with the values on which the European Union was founded?

I met Shikali Mirzai some time ago; his migration story of him is an odyssey, in which he has faced enormous challenges, also meeting people who have helped him. I was struck by his energy, his optimism, despite the enormous tragedies he experienced, his determination to do something good for other migrants, for the country he comes from and the country that hosts him today, France.

With welcome, intercultural dialogue, cooperation we can build a better Europe.